COLUMBUS, Ohio - Attorneys for a former Akron police captain convicted of killing his ex-wife said the results of new tests show DNA found at the crime scene does not belong to Douglas Prade.
Prade, 66, has requested he be exonerated or granted a new trial as a result of the findings.
"To us, it indicates that he didn't do it," David Alden, Prade's attorney. Prade is also being represented the Ohio Innocence Project.
Prade was convicted of killing his ex-wife Margo, an Akron doctor, in September 1998.
During his trial, expert testimony that a bite mark impression left by Margo Prade's killer was made by Douglas Prade led to his conviction, said Alden.
The new tests show the DNA on the clothing above the bite mark does not belong to Prade. DNA found under Margo Prade's fingernails also does not belong to Prade, said Alden.
"He wasn't the one the who made the bite mark. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see what that means," said Alden.
In November 1997, Margo was shot six times with a .38-caliber pistol and found dead inside her van in the parking lot behind her Akron office.
Surveillance video from a nearby car dealership captured the killer on camera. However, the video is too grainy to identify the person.
"It's always fresh in my mind," said Veronica Sadler, Margo Prade's sister.
In spite of the new DNA test results, Sadler said she still believes Douglas Prade was her killer.
"There's no reason for anyone else to try to hurt my sister," she said.
Sherri Bevan Walsh, the Summit County prosecutor, opposes granting Prade a new trial and setting him free.
“No one in my office wants to see an innocent person behind bars," said Walsh.
"We requested extensive DNA testing well beyond what the Innocence Project requested, and we have carefully reviewed all of the available evidence. There is no new evidence that proves Mr. Prade’s claim of innocence. The jury’s verdict should not be overturned," said Walsh.
A hearing on Prade's petition for post-conviction relief and request for a new trial is scheduled for Aug. 21 in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
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